Sailor Recovering After Fall

Monday, September 18th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SINGAPORE (AP) — An American sailor who fell from the towering deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier off the Philippines is recovering from severe injuries in a Singapore hospital, officials said Monday.

Christopher Michaelson, 21, was ``much improved, alert and awake,'' said Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Navy spokeswoman in Singapore.

Michaelson, 21, a boatswain's mate electrician from Fort Shaw, Mont., fell from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln on Sept. 8, said Lt. Cmdr. Denise Shorey, the ship's public affairs officer.

U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen visited Michaelson at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital on Sunday. Cohen said he held Michaelson's hand and spoke to him.

``He could not talk,'' Cohen said. ``But he was conscious. He was aware of what I was saying.

``Overall it looks quite favorable for him, but he's been through a pretty rough time,'' Cohen said. ``Thank goodness, he seems to be OK.''

Michaelson was spotted by a lookout, pulled from the water by a helicopter and brought aboard ship about 45 minutes after he fell, Shorey reported. Shorey declined to detail Michaelson's injuries.